Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweights Ricardo Lamas and Hacran Dias squared off on the main card of UFC Fight Night 44 last night (Sat., June 28, 2014) from AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
No. 3-ranked Lamas came into the bout fresh off a disappointing UFC 169 title fight loss to champion Jose Aldo. "Bully" believed that he beat himself on that February night by trying to prove he could strike with "Junior."
His journey back toward another title shot began against another Team Nova Uniao member in Dias, who had been out of action since a May 2013 decision loss to No. 9-ranked Nik Lentz at UFC on FX 8. "Barnabe" had a great opportunity to score a big upset and catapult himself onto the 145-pound Top 15 in San Antonio.
When the dust settled on their "Alamo City" battle, however, Lamas was back into the win column with a workmanlike victory.
Lamas came out fast and aggressive, but Dias fought back with a combo. "Bully" was fainting takedowns to throw some solid punches and kicks, but he absorbed a big low kick in the process. "Bully" responded with one of his own and kept his movement level high. Dias snapped a counter left hand and another, picking his shots effectively.
The Nova Uniao-trained product clinched along the fence, and Lamas reversed to seek a double leg. It wasn't transpiring and the referee restarted the action. The fighters threw huge shots and Lamas tried a switch kick. The action-packed first round came to a close with Lamas landing a decent high kick and Dias another strong low kick.
Lamas sought a takedown early in the second round. He took Dias' back but did previous little with it. The action broke and Lamas threw a looping right hand, clinching against the cage to look for a takedown. Dias defended well once again before Lamas threw a great varied combination.
Dias then wobbled Lamas with a huge right hand, but Lamas immediately tied him up with a takedown. Dias continued to land shots off of scrambles, but Lamas appeared to be the more active fighter throughout the second round.
Lamas continued to smother Dias up against the fence, dragging the fight to the mat to start the third round. He got Dias' back and looked for a choke, but it soon dissipated. Dias looked for a takedown, and Lamas went for a guillotine that didn't work out.
The action slowed down to a crawl as Dias ground Lamas in the clinch. Lamas rolled through to transition to an advantageous position, going back to the feet to land a good body kick. Lamas landed some knees and ended the hard-fought, gritty bout going for a takedown to boos from the fans.
Lamas got the job done with a unanimous decision victory. It may not have been pretty, and he has some work to do, but the top-level contender should be due for a solid fight his next time out.
He cited a broken hand as the reason for his somewhat underwhelming performance, which could keep him out of action for some time. If he heals up soon, the winner of UFC on FOX 12's Dennis Bermudez vs. Clay Guida showdown would make sense for Lamas.
Dias showed some decent skills in Texas, but he couldn't put a stamp on Lamas. He'll most likely rebound against a mid-level featherweight; a fight with the returning Akira Corassani could make sense for Dias.
Ricardo Lamas returned to the win column with a grinding victory over Hacran Dias at UFC Fight Night 44. With a renewed focus on his wrestling, what's next for "Bully?"